BATON ROUGE, La. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana President and CEO I. Steven Udvarhelyi, MD, on Tuesday joined nearly 700 other CEOs across the nation when he signed the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity & Inclusion™ at an event at Blue Cross headquarters.
Before an audience of employees and guests, Udvarhelyi signed his name to these words: “I pledge to check my bias, speak up for others and show up for all.” Employees had the opportunity to sign a large pledge banner and fill out a personal pledge card to put up in their workspaces.
“Diversity and inclusion is about valuing and respecting the differences we see in others,” Udvarhelyi said, just before signing. “It’s about being inclusive in our decision-making, broadening our horizons and making space—not just at the table, but in our minds—for people who are different from us.”
CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, which marked its second anniversary in June, is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. By signing the pledge, CEOs are announcing their intent to create workplace environments where diverse experiences and perspectives are welcomed and employees feel comfortable and encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion issues.
“Here in Louisiana, we join Entergy and Xavier University as the only organizations in the state to have signed the pledge,” Udvarhelyi said. “I hope that other CEOs across our state will follow our example and pledge and commit themselves to being champions for workplace diversity and inclusion in Louisiana.”
Udvarhelyi noted in his remarks that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana “is a diverse company, and we have made strides in our diversity and inclusion work.” He said the company’s Board of Directors supports making diversity and inclusion a priority, with an organization-wide diversity training program and the growth of several employee resource groups representing people with similar interests. The company also constructed a framework for purchasing, whenever possible, from businesses owned by women, veterans and minorities.
In recognition of these efforts, Blue Cross was recently honored with the large business 2019 Diversity Star Award by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber for its diversity and inclusion practices. In 2018, the Greater Baton Rouge Society of Human Resources Management awarded Blue Cross its Excellence in Diversity Award.
Udvarhelyi said, “We’ve been making great progress in all of these areas, and we will continue our forward momentum.”
CEO Action brings together businesses, academic institutions and nonprofits representing more than 14 million employees. Started by PricewaterhouseCoopers International in June 2017, CEO Action now represents all 50 states, 85 industries, more than 50 academic institutions and many national healthcare companies, as well as several other Blue plans.
Photos available on request to: Strategic.Communications@bcbsla.com
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kltw9VQvHwY
Video news release: https://youtu.be/QHbPaO6uDDg
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. We invest both time and money in the health and wellbeing of Louisiana communities by supporting more than 200 charitable organizations through volunteer service, board participation, employee giving and focused grantmaking.
Our commitment to corporate citizenship was recognized in 2019 by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana was honored as one of The Civic 50: the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
With our subsidiaries, HMO Louisiana and Southern National Life, we cover 1.8 million members, providing group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana also provides Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage plans and is a partner in offering the Healthy Blue Medicaid managed care plan. Louisiana is the only state where we operate, with headquarters in Baton Rouge and offices in every major region to serve our customers.
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media.